If you and your partner are trying to decide whether to have children, it is vital to discuss the reality of becoming parents. While one or both of you may feel a strong urge to bring a baby into the world, you need to be sure that you on the same page prior to taking this huge step.
Read on to discover six important questions that you should consider before deciding to have a baby.
How Will Having A Child Impact Our Relationship?
Although it is impossible to predict all of the ways in which choosing to start a family might change the dynamic between you and your partner, you can certainly anticipate some of the problems and joys (and then try to weigh them against each other).
Many parents complain that they do not have as much time for romantic dates and intimate moments, but they also note that having a child has brought them closer in new ways that they did not expect. For some people, the sacrifices and stresses of parenting look so substantial that having a child does not seem to be worth the risk.
However, others find reassurance in coming up with plans that will help them to deal with difficulties. For example, you might speak to your parents and discuss the possibility of having a weekly night off from taking care of your child, allowing you to experience some of the autonomy and intimacy that previously characterized your relationship.
If your relationship is of prime important to you both, the decision about whether or not to have children may turn almost entirely on this question. As a result, it is ideal to spend a long time discussing dozens of pros and cons that you can imagine.
Could We Cope With A Disabled Child?
Although every couple hopes that their baby will be perfectly healthy, there is always a chance that it could be born with a serious impairment or disability.
Are you and your partner prepared for this possibility, and for the fact that having a child with certain physical or mental conditions could seriously limit your freedom for the rest of your lives? Although this is a painful topic, it is one that is worth considering.
What Values Do We Want To Teach A Child?
When it comes to values, it makes sense to sit down with your partner and make a list of things that you hope to instill in your child. If you are a good match, it is likely that you will agree on most or all of the messages that you would want to communicate to your son or daughter.
For example, you might want to encourage self-awareness, discourage bigotry and teach your child to be compassionate.
However, you may find that there are small areas of disagreement. For example, you may want to place an emphasis on being ambitious and working hard to be the best in school, while your partner may think it is more important to encourage a child to be happy whether or not they are the most intelligent or successful person in the world.
Where you encounter tension in your views, you can probably find a compromise. In the example just mentioned, such a compromise might involve agreeing that you will teach your child to work hard at what they enjoy doing but try to fully endorse their hobbies and career choices regardless of whether they match your own.
What Are Our Views On Discipline?
Depending on how you were raised by your own parents, you may find that you and your partner have very different ideas about how to discourage bad behavior in children.
One of you may condone mild forms of physical punishment, while the other may believe that hurting a child in any way is tantamount to abuse.
It is also important to discuss the extent to which you believe it is effective to withhold privileges from misbehaving children, explore your planned strategies for getting a troubled child to open up to you, and debate whether you believe it is always best to try to reason with a child that disobeys you.
Should Our Child Be Raised To Follow A Particular Religion?
If you and your partner hold different religious beliefs then you may want to debate the issue of whether you should raise the child in the tradition of one religion or the other.
Alternatively, if neither of you are religious, it is important to talk about whether you intend to discourage your child from spirituality or would like to give your son child a very open education that encourages making up one’s own mind.
How Will Pregnancy Affect Our Relationship?
Although you will have a child for a lifetime and pregnancy only lasts for around nine months, it is still important to discuss how you both feel about the prospect of pregnancy. Sometimes, being pregnant can influence a woman’s self-esteem or change the way that one or both partners feel about having sex.
It is worth reflecting on how you feel about the physical changes involved in pregnancy, and it may be useful to spend some time researching the experiences of other couples in order to figure out how this period of your life might change your relationship in positive and negative ways.